Healthy smoking. Those words just don’t go hand in hand. But that’s what smokers thought when e-cigarettes, an alternative to traditional smoking, arrived. E-cig users think they’re getting a nicotine fix without health risks, and I hate to break it to you, but e-cigs create a liquid containing nicotine and chemicals. And to top it all off, they can be as addictive as traditional cigarettes.
A recent French survey shows e-cig users believe the device will help them quit smoking, according to Dr. Sebastien Couraud, lead author of the study and doctor of respiratory medicine and thoracic oncology at Lyon Sud Hospital. He discussed the study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, according to HealthDay.
Couraud found 69 percent of e-cig users think the device can help a person quit tobacco, and many people revert to e-cigs not only because they want to stop smoking tobacco, but also because they’re afraid of dying from lung cancer.
In light of the survey, ASCO spokesperson Dr. Jyoti Patel believes e-cigs need regulation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; the ASCO called for regulation in January.
“For people who are addicted to nicotine, e-cigarettes don’t help,” said Patel. “They are still addicted, and they use a lot. It’s not a bridge to abstinence. It’s a way for them to stay addicted in a restaurant or an airplane, where they are unable to smoke.”
The survey proved Patel’s statement right: 58 percent of e-cig users reported being very or highly addicted, and the other 48 percent smoked only tobacco. The survey also shows many e-cig users aren’t worried about the vapors they inhale and think the device isn’t as harmful as cigarette smoke.
Couraud and Patel said people in the U.S. have the same views on e-cigs as the ones in the French survey.
Much more research needs to be done on e-cigs to help gain more clarity on the matter. But in the meantime, it’s probably best to not rely on e-cigs to help you quit smoking.